Cell death & disease

SIRT1 is involved in oncogenic signaling mediated by GPER in breast cancer.

PMID 26225773


A number of tumors exhibit an altered expression of sirtuins, including NAD+-dependent histone deacetylase silent information regulator 1 (SIRT1) that may act as a tumor suppressor or tumor promoter mainly depending on the tumor types. For instance, in breast cancer cells SIRT1 was shown to exert an essential role toward the oncogenic signaling mediated by the estrogen receptor-α (ERα). In accordance with these findings, the suppression of SIRT1 led to the inhibition of the transduction pathway triggered by ERα. As the regulation of SIRT1 has not been investigated in cancer cells lacking ER, in the present study we ascertained the expression and function of SIRT1 by estrogens in ER-negative breast cancer cells and cancer-associated fibroblasts obtained from breast cancer patients. Our results show that 17β-estradiol (E2) and the selective ligand of GPER, namely G-1, induce the expression of SIRT1 through GPER and the subsequent activation of the EGFR/ERK/c-fos/AP-1 transduction pathway. Moreover, we demonstrate that SIRT1 is involved in the pro-survival effects elicited by E2 through GPER, like the prevention of cell cycle arrest and cell death induced by the DNA damaging agent etoposide. Interestingly, the aforementioned actions of estrogens were abolished silencing GPER or SIRT1, as well as using the SIRT1 inhibitor Sirtinol. In addition, we provide evidence regarding the involvement of SIRT1 in tumor growth stimulated by GPER ligands in breast cancer cells and xenograft models. Altogether, our data suggest that SIRT1 may be included in the transduction network activated by estrogens through GPER toward the breast cancer progression.